American Slavery As It Is
Testimony of a Thousand Witnesses
Publication Year: 2011
Published by: The University of North Carolina Press
Series: DocSouth Books
Title Page, Copyright
About This Edition
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This edition is made available under the imprimatur of DocSouth Books, a cooperative endeavor between the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill Library and the University of North Carolina Press. Titles in DocSouth Books are drawn from...
ADVERTISEMENT TO THE READER.
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A MAJORITY of the facts and testimony contained in this work rests upon the authority of SLAVEHOLDERS, whose names and residences are given to the public, as vouchers for the truth of their statements. That they should utter falsehoods...
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The Executive Committee of the American Anti-Slavery Society, while tendering their grateful acknowledgments, in the name of American Abolitionists, and in behalf of the slave, to those who have furnished for this publication the result of their residence and travel in the slave states of this Union, announce...
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READER, you are empannelled as a juror to try a plain case and bring in an honest verdict. The question at issue is not one of law, but of fact—"What is the actual condition of the slaves in the United States?" A plainer case never went to a jury. Look at it. TWENTY-SEVEN HUNDRED THOUSAND PERSONS in this...
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MR. NEHEMIAH CAULKINS, of Waterford, New London Co., Connecticut, has furnished the Executive Committee of the American Anti-Slavery Society, with the following statements relative to the condition and treatment of slaves, in the south...
NARRATIVE OF MR. CAULKINS.
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I feel it my duty to tell some things that I know about slavery, in order, if possible, to awaken more feeling at the North in behalf of the slave. The treatment of the slaves on the plantations where I had the greatest opportunity of getting knowledge, was not so bad as that on some neighboring estates, where the owners..
NARRATIVE AND TESTIMONY OF REV. HORACE MOULTON.
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Yours of Feb. 2d, requesting me to write out a few facts on the subject of slavery, as it exists at the south, has come to hand. I hasten to comply with your request. Were it not, however, for the claims of those "who are drawn unto death," and the responsibility...
NARRATIVE AND TESTIMONY OF SARAH M. GRIMKÉ.
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Miss Grimké is a daughter of the late Judge Grimké, of the Supreme Court of South Carolina, and sister of the late Hon. Thomas S. Grimké. As I left my native state on account of slavery, and deserted the home of my fathers to escape the sound of the lash and the shrieks of tortured victims, I would gladly bury...
TESTIMONY OF THE LATE REV. JOHN GRAHAM,
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TESTIMONY OF THE LATE REV. JOHN GRAHAM, of Townsend, Mass., who resided in S. Carolina, from 1831, to the latter part of 1833. Mr. Graham graduated at Amherst College in 1829, spent some time at the Theological Seminary, in New Haven, Ct., and went to South Carolina, for his health in 1830. He resided principally on the island of St. Helena, S. C., and most of the time in the...
TESTIMONY OF MR. WILLIAM POE.
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Mr. Poe is a native of Richmond, Virginia, and was formerly a slaveholder. He was for several years a merchant in Richmond, and subsequently in Lynchburg, Virginia. A few years since, he emancipated his slaves, and removed to Hamilton County, Ohio, near Cincinnati; where he is a highly respected ruling elder in the Presbyterian church. He says,— "I am pained exceedingly...
PRIVATIONS OF THE SLAVES.
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WE begin with the food of the slaves, because if they are ill treated in this respect we may be sure that they will be ill treated in other respects, and generally in a greater degree. For a man habitually to stint his dependents in their food, is the extreme of meanness and cruelty, and the greatest evidence he can give...
II. LABOR. THE SLAVES ARE OVERWORKED.
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April 26, 1837, affords an illustration. The writer in describing the effects of the money pressure in Mississippi, says: "They, (the planters,) are now left without provisions and the means of living and using their industry, for the present year. In this dilemma, planters whose crops have been from 100 to 700 bales, find themselves forced to sacrifice many of their...
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We propose to show under this head, that the clothing of the slaves by day, and their covering by night, are inadequate, either for comfort or decency....
IV. DWELLINGS. THE SLAVES ARE WRETCHEDLY SHELTERED AND LODGED.
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"On old plantations, the negro quarters are of frame and clapboards, seldom affording a comfortable shelter from wind or rain; their size varies from 8 by 10, to 10 by 12, feet, and six or eight feet high...
V. TREATMENT OF THE SICK. THE SLAVES SUFFER FROM INHUMAN NEGLECT WHEN SICK.
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In proof of this we subjoin the following testimony: Rev. Dr. CHANNING of Boston, who once resided in Virginia, relates the following fact in his work on slavery, page 163, 1st edition...
PERSONAL NARRATIVES—PART II.
TESTIMONY OF THE REV. WILLIAM T. ALLAN, LATE OF ALABAMA.
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Mr. ALLAN is a son of the Rev. Dr. Allan, a slaveholder and pastor of the Presbyterian Church at Huntsville, Alabama. He has recently become the pastor of the Presbyterian Church in Chatham, Illinois. "I was born and have lived most of my life in the slave states, mainly in the village of Huntsville, Alabama, where my parents still reside. I seldom went to a plantation, and...
NARRATIVE OF MR. WILLIAM LEFTWICH, A NATIVE OF VIRGINIA.
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Mr. Leftwich is a grandson of Gen. Jabez Leftwich, who was for some years a member of Congress from Virginia. Though born in Virginia, he has resided most of his life in Alabama. He now lives in Delhi, Hamilton county, Ohio, near Cincinnati. As an introduction to his letter, the reader is furnished with the following testimonial to his character, from the Rev. Horace Bushnell, pastor of the Presbyterian church...
TESTIMONY OF MR. LEMUEL SAPINGTON, A NATIVE OF MARYLAND.
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Mr. Sapington, is a repentant "soul driver" or slave trader, now a citizen of Lancaster, Pa. He gives the following testimony in a letter dated, Jan. 21, 1839. "I was born in Maryland, afterwards moved to Virginia, where I commenced the business of farming and trafficking in slaves. In my neighborhood the slaves..
TESTIMONY OF MRS. NANCY LOWRY, A NATIVE OF KENTUCKY.
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Mrs. Lowry, is a member of the non-conformist church in Osnaburg, Stark County, Ohio., she is a native of Kentucky. We have received from her the following testimony. "I resided in the family of Reuben Long, the principal part of the time, from seven to twenty-two years of age. Mr. Long had 16 slaves, among whom were three who...
TESTIMONY OF MR. WM. C. GILDERSLEEVE, A NATIVE OF GEORGIA
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Mr. W. C. GILDERSLEEVE, a native of Georgia, is an elder of the Presbyterian Church at Wilkesbarre, Pa. "Acts of cruelty, without number, fell under my observation while I lived in Georgia. I will mention but one. A slave of a Mr. Pinkney, on his way with a wagon to Savannah, 'camped...
TESTIMONY OF MR. HIRAM WHITE—A NATIVE OF NORTH CAROLINA.
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Mr. WHITE resided thirty-two years in Chatham county, North Carolina, and is now a member of the Baptist Church, at Otter Creek Prairie, Illinois. About the 20th December, 1830, a report was raised that the slaves in Chatham county, North Carolina, were going to rise on Christmas day," in consequence of which...
TESTIMONY OF MR. JOHN M. NELSON—A NATIVE OF VIRGINIA.
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Extract of a letter, dated January 3, 1839, from John M. Nelson, Esq., of Hillsborough. Mr. Nelson removed from Virginia to Highland county, Ohio, many years since, where he is extensively known and respected. I was born and raised in Augusta county, Virginia; my father was an elder in the Presbyterian Church, and was "owner" of about twenty slaves; he was what was generally....
GENERAL TESTIMONY TO THE CRUELTIES INFLICTED UPON SLAVES.
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Before presenting to the reader particular details of the cruelties inflicted upon American slaves, we will present in brief the well-weighed declarations of slaveholders and other residents of slave states, testifying that the slaves are treated with barbarous...
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The slaves are terribly lacerated with whips, paddles, &c.; red pepper and salt are rubbed into their mangled flesh; hot brine and turpentine are poured into their gashes; and innumerable other tortures inflicted upon them. We will in the first place, prove by a cloud of witnesses, that the slaves are whipped with such inhuman...
PERSONAL NARRATIVES—PART III.
NARRATIVE AND TESTIMONY OF REV. FRANCIS HAWLEY.
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Mr. HAWLEY is the pastor of the Baptist Church in Colebrook, Litchfield county, Connecticut. He has resided fourteen years in the slave states, North and South Carolina. His character and standing with his own denomination at the south, may...
TESTIMONY OF REUBEN G. MACY AND RICHARD MACY.
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The following is an extract of a letter recently received from CHARLES MARRIOTT of Hudson, New York. Mr. Marriott is an elder in the Religious Society of Friends, and is extensively known and respected. "The two following brief statements, are furnished by Richard Macy and Reuben G. Macy, brothers...
TESTIMONY OF MR. ELEAZAR POWELL.
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"In the month of December, 1836, I went to the State of Mississippi to work at my trade, (masonry and bricklaying,) and continued to work in the counties of Adams and Jefferson, between four and five months. In following my business...
TESTIMONY ON THE AUTHORITY OF REV. WM. SCALES, LYNDON, VT.
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The following is an extract of a letter from two professional gentlemen and their wives, who have lived for some years in a small village in one of the slave states. They are all persons of the highest respectability, and are well known in at least one of the New England states. Their names are with the Executive Committee...
TESTIMONY OF JOSEPH IDE, ESQ.
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Mr. IDE is a respected member of the Baptist Church in Sheffield, Caledonia county, Vt.; and recently the Postmaster in that town. He spent a few months at the south in the years 1837 and 8. In a letter to the Rev. Wm. Scales of Lyndon, Vt. written a few weeks since, Mr. Ide writes as follows. "In answering the...
TESTIMONY OF REV. PHINEAS SMITH.
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MR. SMITH is now pastor of the Presbyterian Church in Centreville, Allegany county, N. Y. He has recently returned from a residence in the slave states, and the American slave holding setlements in Texas. The following is an extract of a letter lately received from him. "You inquire respecting...
TESTIMONY OF REV. WILLIAM A. CHAPIN.
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Rev. WILLIAM SCALES, of Lyndon, Vermont, has furnished the following testimony, under date of Dec. 15, 1838. "I send you an extract from a letter that I have just received, which you may use ad libitum. The letter is from Rev. Wm. A. Chapin, Greens-borough, Vermont. To one who is acquainted with Mr. C. his opinion and statements must carry conviction...
TESTIMONY OF MESSRS. T. D. M. AND F. C. MACY.
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This testimony is communicated in a letter from Mr. Cyrus Pierce, a respectable and well known citizen of Nantucket, Mass. Of the witnesses, Messrs. T. D. M. and F. C. Macy, Mr. Pierce says, "They are both inhabitants of this island, and have...
TESTIMONY OF A CLERGYMAN.
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The following letter was written to Mr. ARTHUR TAPPAN, of New York, in the summer of 1833. As the name of the writer cannot be published with safety to himself, it is withheld. The following testimonials, from Mr. TAPPAN, Professor WRIGHT, and THOMAS RITTER, M. D. of New York, establish the trust-worthiness and high respectability..
OBJECTION. II.—'SLAVEHOLDERS PROTEST THAT THEY TREAT THEIR SLAVES WELL.'
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Self-justification is human nature; self-condemnation is a sublime triumph over it, and as rare as sublime. What culprits would be convicted, if their own testimony were taken by juries as good evidence? Slaveholders are on trial, charged with cruel treatment to their slaves, and though in their own courts they can clear themselves...
OBJECTION III.—'SLAVEHOLDERS ARE PROVERBIAL FOR THEIR KINDNESS, HOSPITALITY, BENEVOLENCE, AND GENEROSITY.'
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OBJECTION IV.—'NORTHERN VISITORS AT THE SOUTH TESTIFY THAT THE SLAVES ARE NOT CRUELLY TREATED.'
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ANSWER:—Their knowledge on this point must have been derived, either from the slaveholders and overseers themselves, or from the slaves, or from their own observation. If from the slaveholders, their testimony has already been weighed and found wanting; if they derived it from the slaves, they can hardly...
OBJECTION V.—'IT IS FOR THE INTEREST OF THE MASTERS TO TREAT THEIR SLAVES WELL.'
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So it is for the interest of the drunkard to quit his cups; for the glutton to curb his appetite; for the debauchee to bridle his lust; for the sluggard to be up betimes; for the spendthrift to be economical, and for all sinners to stop sinning. Even if it were for the interest of masters to treat their slaves well, he must be a novice...
OBJECTION VI.—'THE FACT THAT THE SLAVES MULTIPLY SO RAPIDLY PROVES THAT THEY ARE NOT INHUMANLY TREATED, BUT ARE IN A COMFORTABLE CONDITION.'
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To this we reply in brief, 1st. It has been already shown under a previous head, that, in considerable sections of the slave states, especially in the South West, the births among slaves are fewer than the deaths, which would exhibit a fearful decrease of the slave population in those sections, if the deficiency were not made up by the slave trade from the upper country. 2d. The fact that all...
OBJECTION VIII.—'PUBLIC OPINION IS A PROTECTION TO THE SLAVE.'
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ANSWER. It was public opinion that made him a slave. In a republican government the people make the laws, and those laws are merely public opinion in legal forms. We repeat it,—public opinion made them slaves, and keeps them slaves...
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Page Count: 552
Illustrations: 2 line drawings, 1 map
Publication Year: 2011
Series Title: DocSouth Books